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PT-EP08 housing, compatible lenses


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#1 bremner

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 01:01 PM

There seem to be some sellers on amazon.ca with pretty good deals on these housings, and the corresponding bodies (OMD EM-5) are also available pretty cheaply. What I don't understand is what lenses this is compatible with out of the box, i.e. without buying an add-on port). Or maybe the housing doesn't include even a flat port?

 

Disclaimer: UW photography beginner here.



#2 echo2600

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 01:47 PM

I think some of the best deals youll find right now would be on an Olympus E-M5 mkII with the PT-EP13 housing and 14-42 kit lens.... For about $1300USD you could have a useable basic camera rig and a pretty solid foundation to build upon.

#3 Vondo

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 03:33 PM

Never mind. Everything I wrote is wrong.


Edited by Vondo, 16 December 2017 - 03:35 PM.


#4 bremner

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 03:49 PM

The EM5-II / PT-EP13 deal is tempting, although I'm not sure how much more it will set me back in Canada; customs estimates about USD200 in taxes and customs [EDIT: most of this is provincial taxes, which I'll ahve to pay on Canadian purchases also].  The PT-EP08 is going for less than CAD400, so it could work out quite a bit cheaper, if not too good to be true.

 

Is this PT-EP13 rig going to be usable without an external strobe? My original motivation for cheaping out on the housing / body was to try to squeeze a strobe into the budget.


Edited by bremner, 16 December 2017 - 04:21 PM.


#5 echo2600

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 06:57 PM

Yes, it does have a clear window for the pop-up flash, but that will be pretty weak underwater. If the subject is very close, its doable, but bigger scenes or mid distance subjects would require an external strobe.
$400CAD is a good price for the PT-EP08. If I recall correctly, the port was usually sold separately. That would, however, allow you a bit of choice in directions - flat port for macro or fish potraits, or a dome for wide angle shooting, if you can find a correspondingly good deal on the port of your choice. To your original point, heres a link to the Olympus system chart for the E-M5 and PT-EP08 housing that gives the recommended port/lens/gear combinations.

https://www.olympus..../PT-EP08_EN.pdf

The only thing about it is that it doesnt include any domes. If youre wanting to go wide angle, checkout Zen Undewaters offerings for Olympus housings.

www.zenunderwater.com

HTH

#6 Wapiti

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 07:17 PM

If you're diving relatively shallow in clear-ish water you can get away without a strobe, but I wouldn't advise it (the onboard flash isn't useful for anything other than triggering strobes in pretty much all Oly housings).  To answer your original question about the PT-EP08, assuming it comes with the flat port you can use the following lenses:

14-42

60mm macro

9-18 (doable, but not the best)

12-50

various Olympus primes like the 25, 30, 45, 75, and probably some Panasonic primes, too

Here's a link to a port chart for the new E-M1II.  It uses the same port system, so pretty much everything there applies to the EP08:

http://asia.olympus-...t/000085635.pdf

For strictly underwater use, I would prefer the original M5 over the M5II just on the basis of the better port system (assuming you're sticking with Oly housings).  For example, I use an Inon 170mm dome intended for the old 4/3 system.  With that, I can shoot the Oly 12-40 and 7-14 Pro zooms, plus the Panasonic 8-18- all three are too wide to fit in the EP13 housing.  In addition, I can also use that dome with the Oly 8mm and the 60mm macro (if I couldn't travel with a flat port). 

 

Off the top of my head, the only underwater advantage of the M5II is better image stabilization, and maybe a slightly better jpeg processor (not an issue if you're shooting RAW).  If this is also going to be a topside camera, I might rethink that, but man- those bigger lenses (especially the 12-40) are pretty nice underwater.  In my case, i shoot the original M1 underwater, and primarily use my M5II topside.  If the housing you're looking at doesn't come with a flat port, you can probably find a used one pretty cheap (I'd probably sell mine for 250 if someone wanted it).



#7 bremner

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 08:17 AM

The back story is that I have a modest investment in m4/3 already. I have an OMD E-M10 body and few lenses, so another option that occurs is picking up an ikelite 6950.10 housing. Those are mostly expensive enough to make other options more attractive, but I just spotted one for USD499 at divervision.com. Any words of wisdom on investing in ikelite vs. olympus housings? I guess after a port that's still going to set me back USD700, about the same as the best EP08 deals i see currently.